Leica M9 Presets

Leica M9: Still King of Colour? + Leica M9 Presets for Lightroom + YouTube

Pros and cons of the Leica M9 camera in 2022/2023 (still worth it?), Leica M9 vs Leica M9-P differences and my new Leica M9 presets for Lightroom.

Thanks Asif

When I flew to Dubai to teach a group model photography workshop (Leica photographers mostly) I had the opportunity to use a Leica M9-P camera for a few days. I used to own a Leica M9 camera in 2014 but I forgot quite how good the famous Leica M9 colours are! This post will share example photos and images using my new Leica M9 Lightroom presets. A special thanks to my kind host Asif (one of my valued Patreons) who kindly leant me his Leica M9-P during the trip.

Leica M9 vs Leica M9-P comparison recap

The Leica M9 was released in September 2009 and the Leica M9-P in June 2011. When comparing the Leica M9 vs Leica M9-P they are almost identical on the the inside. Here are the basic differences-

  • Leica M9 has the Leica red dot logo on the front. Leica M9-P doesn’t
  • Leica M9 has no writing on the top plate. Leica M9-P is inscribed with the Leica logo writing (I like it)
  • Leica M9-P has the saffire scratch resistant LCD cover
  • Leica M9-P is 15g lighter (585g vs 600g)

Still worth it? Leica M9 in 2023?

One of the common questions I receive is are Leica M9 cameras worth it and should I buy a Leica M9 for 2023? To make it easier i’ve split it into pros and cons.

Pros of the M9/M9-P (in 2022)

  • CCD sensor colours – Still unmatched by CMOS sensors to date
  • Filmic look – The CCD sensor rendering gives a less modern perfect look that I prefer
  • Price – Cheaper entry point into Leica M photography (assuming no sensor issues*)
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Cons of the M9/M9-P (in 2022)

  • Noisy – If you are a street or wedding photographer the Leica M9 is not s stealthy camera
  • Slow – The FPS and buffer speed is slow compared to the M240 and later cameras
  • Low res small rear LCD – Difficult to tell if you nailed your focus from the tiny screen
  • No LiveView – Can’t compose lenses wider than 28mm, RF must be accurate
  • No EVF/ Visoflex option – Can’t focus non-RF lenses, Can’t focus <0.7m
  • Limited dynamic range – Easily to clip highlight/ shadow detail (can’t recover in post)
  • High ISO limitation – ISO 800 max for clean shots, ISO 1000 in B&W
  • Won’t accept modern SD cards – Need to use older slower memory cards
  • RISK OF LEICA M9 SENSOR CORROSION – Can replace but not cheap (See below)
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Leica M9 Presets for LR

Some of you have been patiently waiting for my Leica M9 Lightroom presets for more than 12 months. Sorry it took so long! I lost my original Leica M9 presets when upgrading my computer. I took almost 400 photos with the Leica M9-P in Dubai to try to test as many lighting conditions and subjects as possible. Lots of example photos coming up!

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5 Lightroom presets for the Leica M9/ M9-P

As with some of my other Leica presets I wanted to develop 2 colour and 2 B&W. I then saw the opportunity for an additional more vibrant colour preset so that is like a free 5th one. The 5 Leica M9 Lightroom presets are:

  • MrLeica-LeicaM9-BWLC
  • MrLeica-LeicaM9-BWHC
  • MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col1
  • MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col2
  • MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col3
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RAW files (unedited DNG converted to JPEG)

Before we look at Leica M9 photos with MrLeica presets applied let’s first appreciated the unedited DNG photos. Photos were taking with the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 and the Voigtlander Heliar 40mm f2.8 LTM.

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MrLeica-LeicaM9-BWLC

As mostly a black and white shooter I need a good monochrome preset that I can apply to all images. This B&W preset lifts the shadow details to give more grey tones and a lower contrast look. I found it suits most images and works well for portraits.  The lower contrast helps give a more filmic look when combined with the Leica M9 CCD sensor (to my eyes).

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Before and after slider comparison

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MrLeica-LeicaM9-BWHC

Sometimes I want more pop in my B&W images. This high contrast black and white preset works better for non-portraits (for my taste). (The heavy vignetting is the Noctilux lens not the preset effect*).

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Before and after slider comparison

MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col1

When I developed this first colour preset for the Leica M9 I was blown away with the filmy vibes from the warm tones combined with teals colours. My computer is full of half made presets and applying this as a base and then adjusting to the Leica M9 files just worked to my eyes. I love the less iPhone/ less modern and more unique stylised look it gives and it suits all skins tones and subjects. (Photos of me were shot by Asif*).

Before and after slider comparison

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MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col2

I wanted to make a second colour preset to enjoy those blue sky shots or to reduce the warmth in certain images. This colour preset is fine for general use but some skin types might look better with colour preset 1.

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Before and after slider comparison

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MrLeica-LeicaM9-Col3

After thinking I had finished I played around with a few classic Leica M9 files (with strong blues, green and of course reds) and made this bonus more saturated preset. If you love colour pop this one is for you.

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Before and after slider comparison

Adding Leica M9 presets to other camera files

What about Leica M9 presets applied to files from other cameras? Absolutely! I was keen to try it myself. Here are a few photos shot with the Leica SL camera and the Leica M9 colour preset 1 applied. Please note the Leica M9 files don’t aim to convert your files to look like M9 camera images, they just give a stylised look that you might enjoy.

Sensor replacement and Leica M9 repair

In the UK a company called Advanced Camera Services offer the service of replacing the corroded Leica M9 low pass filter for around £1000 + VAT + shipping. Click the link for more details.

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YouTube videos on the Leica M9

I’ve recorded YouTube videos on the Leica M9 too and will embed the new video here later. Subscribe to YouTube so not to miss it!

Before you buy a Leica M9 read this

Read this article from when I owned the Leica M9 camera as my main tool for all types of photography. An old post but it will give some idea of what the M9 can do.

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